From Wildlife Extra:
January 2013. Wildlife Extra reader Margaret Richardson has sent us this photo of a very pale Mandarin duck that has appeared on her local pond this winter.
Margaret said “The Male Mandarin Duck has spent the winter on the pond for the last two winters and seems to have returned again this year with a Leucistic female.”
The species was once widespread in eastern Asia, but habitat destruction and an unsustainable level of exports for the pet trade reduced populations in Russia and China tojust a few hundred pairs in each country, whereas there are estimated to be 7000 pairs in UK, where the bird isn’t even a native, as a result of escapes and releases. Japan still has a healthy population.
The patches are caused by leucism; Leucism is a very unusual condition whereby the pigmentation cells in an animal or bird fail to develop properly. This can result in unusual white patches appearing on the animal, or, more rarely, completely white creatures.
Click here to see our gallery of albino and leucistic animals and birds.
This video is about a normally coloured male mandarin duck.
This video is called Brave little mandarin ducklings (Earth).
- Leucistic bald eagle in the USA (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Goosanders, mandarin duck and robin (dearkitty1.wordpress.com)
- Albino-like Bald Eagle Spotted in Washington State (news.nationalgeographic.com)
- Rare Bald Eagle Spotted in WA State (fellowshipofminds.wordpress.com)
- Great Birding Day! (birdshereandthere.wordpress.com)
- A leucistic sugar glider (retrieverman.net)
- Carpe Diem Daily Haiku – Mandarin Ducks (managuagunntoday.wordpress.com)